Turning Your Research Question into a Thesis


In an argument-based research project, the answer to your research question becomes your thesis, or central purpose for the essay. Your thesis should be reasonable, directed toward a specific audience, and be arguable—with a clear argument and clear counter-argument.

Example of Research Question turned into a Thesis

Research Question

Is the popularity of The Walking Dead television show due in part to its breaking with typical conventions associated with the Zombie genre?


The Walking Dead derives its popularity in part because it is a purposeful departure from typical conventions associated with the Zombie genre by embracing some of the archetypes typical to the genre of a Western.


Discussion Questions

The thesis contains a clear purpose, with an arguable claim, but who is the audience?

What potential counter-arguments are suggested by it?


Research Thesis Exercise

Begin writing your thesis using your research question. Be certain to:

  • Make certain your thesis has a clear audience
  • Creates a reasonable argument that is not too broad
  • Forms an arguable claim, one with a clear argument and counter-argument